Winter-specific factors have been added to the Covid-19 pandemic, which deeply affects our daily lives and changes our eating habits. While the decrease in the desire to go outdoors with the cold weather, inactivity and sitting down, disrupt the insulin metabolism, many people pump the desire to eat frequently. Acıbadem Altunizade Hospital Nutrition and Diet Specialist İpek Ertan said, “In addition to health problems such as changes in insulin metabolism and diabetes, some mistakes made in daily life can increase the desire to eat frequently. When the energy entering the body is not consumed, it is stored as fat. As it gets fatter, appetite increases and more food is eaten. Eating too often causes the digestive system to work constantly. This leads to many health problems such as stone formation in the gallbladder, insulin resistance, intestinal diseases and gastritis. Nutrition and Diet Specialist İpek Ertan explained 8 mistakes that cause constant hunger, and made important warnings and suggestions.
Quality sleep is essential for good metabolism. Since the circadian rhythm is disrupted in the lifestyle that disrupts the rhythm of the body, the functioning of the hormones can also be disrupted. Pointing out that going to bed very late at night and waking up at noon is the most important factor that disrupts the body rhythm, İpek Ertan said, “Adequate and quality sleep is essential for the metabolism to work well. “Those who go to bed late and get up late often do not eat regularly and have a high craving for food, especially at night.”
Malnutrition at the main meal
Although they eat regularly, many people complain of being hungry frequently. Noting that the lack of foods containing sufficient energy in the main meals causes this situation, İpek Ertan said, “Eating only salad or drinking only soup does not meet the calorie need in the main meals. This can cause hunger again shortly after eating,” he says.
Simple carbohydrate consumption
A maximum of 10 percent of daily carbohydrate needs should be taken from simple carbohydrates. The more simple carbohydrates consumed, the greater the need for sweets. Saying, “One serving of dessert usually contains 50-60 g of carbohydrates, which is about 3 times the daily amount of simple carbohydrates for an adult woman,” İpek Ertan recommends consuming sweets at most twice a week.
Unbalanced meal content
A meal consisting of only protein or only carbohydrates causes hunger quickly. Eating only meat and salad or eating pasta often leads to a lack of energy and carbohydrates, so the desire to eat again occurs 1-2 hours after eating. Emphasizing that it is necessary to apply a healthy plate model for an adequate and balanced meal, İpek Ertan said, “Imagine that you divide your plate into four. Each piece; you need to fill it with protein, vegetables, milk-yogurt and grains,” she says.
Emotional hunger is the artificial feeling of hunger that occurs due to emotions such as boredom, tension, anger, sadness, and loneliness even though our stomach is full. Emphasizing that it is necessary to deal with the desire to eat in order to fill the emotional void, Nutrition and Diet Specialist İpek Ertan says: “First of all, it is necessary to determine whether the hunger is physical or emotional. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly and the urge to eat is high. In case of sudden hunger, instead of going to the kitchen and eating something immediately, it is necessary to evaluate the hunger first. If you have just got up from the table, it is best to drink water and focus on other pursuits instead of eating something. If 3-4 hours have passed since the last meal, it will be good to consume plenty of pulpy vegetables or fruits, along with a protein-rich food that requires chewing, to end hunger.”
Drinking little water
Thirst can sometimes feel like hunger. Stating that it is difficult to distinguish between hunger and thirst on busy days, İpek Ertan says that this situation can be prevented with adequate fluid intake. Explaining that the amount of water that everyone needs depends on the weight of the person and that it is enough to consume 30 ml per kilogram, İpek Ertan said, “However, we should not think of tea and coffee as water consumption. To the water group; Herbal and fruit teas, mineral waters, and healthy liquids such as ayran enter.”
Another point that is as important as drinking plenty of fluids for health is the content of those fluids. Pointing out that sugary and sweetened liquids increase insulin secretion, Nutrition and Diet Specialist İpek Ertan said, “The increased amount of insulin also causes the desire to eat frequently. Consuming sugary drinks regularly and frequently during the day should definitely be avoided.
Regular movement and exercise are very effective in controlling insulin secretion. Noting that being very inactive during the day can cause an increase in insulin secretion, İpek Ertan says, "To prevent this, you should aim to take 8 thousand steps a day or exercise for 2 hours a week."